Supporting and promoting golf in Northern California

NCGA Senior Championship

54th NCGA Senior Championship | Spyglass Hill GC | March 30-31, 2015

2014 Senior Champion: Jim Knoll

First played in 1962, the NCGA Senior Championship is the association’s premier event for players aged 55 and over.  Hundreds of players at multiple sites around the region attempt to qualify for the championship each year.  Traditionally, the final field has played 36 holes of stroke play at a different venue each year; however, beginning in 2009 the tournament has been played annually at Spyglass Hill.

The tournament record was set in 2008 by Jeff Burda who beat the previous record by five strokes with a 135 at Saddle Creek GC. The low tournament score at Spyglass Hill GC was Michael Brannan’s 142 in 2012, the only under-par 36-hole total since the tournament has been played there on annual basis.  Jim McMurtrey has won the championship a record five times (1990, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 2000). Cornelius Bertolone (1963, 1964 and 1966) and Kai Thomsen (1988, 1989 and 1991) are tied with second most victories, each winning three times a piece.


Qualifying Information

ENTRIES CLOSE: February 8, 2015

Qualifying for the 2015 Senior Championship takes place February 26 at the following courses:

Roddy Ranch GC | Shoreline GL | Riverside GC | Teal Bend GC

Format: 18 holes sectional qualifying.  100 senior players, plus ties, including exempts will advance to the championship.  Non-exempt seniors will be required to go to sectional qualifying.

All players must qualify except the following: All past champions prior to 2004 (beginning in 2004, this is a five-year exemption), the top 10 and ties from the preceding year, the Senior Valley Amateur Champion, the Senior Match Play Champion, Master Division Champion (if applicable) and the CGA Senior Champion.  Exemptions are also granted for the top 15 players on the preceding year’s final NCGA Senior Points List.  Each exempt player is required to submit an entry prior to the closing date. Senior Championship Exemptions

About Spyglass Hill GC

Spyglass Hill No. 14

Ranked number 11 on “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses” list by Golf Digest for 2011-2012.  Spyglass Hill was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr., as a part of the master plan for the Pebble Beach ocean front between Cypress Point and Pebble Beach. Opened in 1966, the design features two distinctly different kinds of terrain that influence the way the holes look and play.

The first five holes roll through sandy seaside dunes challenging the golfer to carefully pick the safest path. The following 13 holes are cut through pine trees with elevated greens and strategically placed bunkers and lakes to grab the errant shot.  Spyglass Hill is rated one of the toughest courses in the world from the Championship tees, boasting a course rating of 75.5 and a slope rating of 147. The PGA Tour consistently lists Spyglass Hill’s holes 6, 8 and 16 among the toughest on the tour, and during the 1999 United States Amateur, the stroke average of the field during medal play was in excess of 79.

Spyglass Hill Course Tour | Get driving directions

Tournament Recaps

JKnollDespite a rough start that would’ve left many players second guessing themselves, Jim Knoll never flinched. Knoll, the NCGA Senior Player of the Year three years running, held steady after bogeying his first four holes Tuesday at par-72 Spyglass Hill for a 5-over 77, giving him a two stroke win over co-runner ups Casey Boyns and Steve Wilson in the 53rd annual NCGA Senior Championship.The 61-year-old Sunnyvale resident, who’s a print salesman, had come into the final round holding a three stroke lead over member Douglas Williams.  Read Full 2014 Recap | View 2014 Photo Gallery

Gary Vanier may have a new nickname after his latest victory at the 52nd Annual NCGA Senior Championship. When presented the first place medal by NCGA Vice President Brian Morse, he dubbed the new champion “Mr. Lucky.” Despite having a two-stroke lead going into the day, everyone who stuck around was surprised to see the 2009 champion add a second title to his name, even Vanier himself. Read Full 2013 Recap | View 2013 Photo Gallery

After his first round 72, Michael Brannan talked about how he got away with his mistakes. Well today was as close of a mistake-free day as he could have. Brannan shot an impressive 2-under 70 at Spyglass Hill with four birdies and two bogeys. “If you get ahead of yourself, Spylass will chew you up,” he said. “You know you’re going to make bogeys here you just try to limit them.” Read Full 2012 Recap | View 2012 Photo Gallery


Past Champions

1962 Adrian McManus at Menlo CC 70-72-142
1963 Cornelius Bertolone at Burlingame CC 76-79-155
1964 Cornelius Bertolone at North Ridge CC 149
1965 John DiPietro at La Rinconada CC N/A
1966 Cornelius Bertolone at Woodbridge CC 71-75-75-221
1967 George Gnau at Spyglass Hill GC 79-70-149
1968 Richard Giddings at Spyglass Hill GC 77-79-156
1969 Don Spillman at Spyglass Hill GC 74-81-155
1970 Ernest Pieper, Jr. at Spyglass Hill GC 75-76-151
1971 Cy Pennel at Spyglass Hill GC 74-73-147
1972 Gene Taano at Spyglass Hill GC 74-77-151
1973 Ernest Pieper, Jr. at Spyglass Hill GC 77-76-153
1974 William Colm at Spyglass Hill GC 72-72-146
1975 Mat Palacio at Spyglass Hill GC 77-76-153
1976 Gene Taano at Surmyside GCC 76-69-145
1977 Richard Giddings at Peninsula GCC 77-69-146
1978 Ed Grimm at Del Rio GCC 77-75-152
1979 Don Butcher at Marin CC 77-74-151
1980 Lyle Gray at Sharon Heights GCC 78-76-154
1981 Hank Lucente at Fort Washington GCC 73-71-144
1982 Robert Knutson at Oakmont GC 72-77-149
1983 Jack Bariteau at Santa Rosa GCC 77-76-153
1984 Lloyd Ferguson at Santa Rosa GCC 76-74-150
1985 Leo Futch at Monterey Peninsula CC 73-74-147
1986 Lyle Gray at Fountaingrove GCC 73-74-147
1987 Ed Trout at Surmyside CC 73-80-153
1988 Kai Thomsen at San Jose CC 73-70-143
1989 Kai Thomsen at Poppy Hills GC 76-73-149
1990 Jim McMurtrey at Auburn Valley GCC 72-71-143
1991 Kai Thomsen at Sequoyah CC 75-75-150
1992 Jim McMurtrey at San Joaquin CC 72-73-145
1993 Andy Gonzalez at Del Paso CC 77-71-148
1994 Jim McMurtrey at Corral de Tierra CC 74-70-144
1995 Jim McMurtrey at San Luis Obispo CC 77-73-150
1996 Dick Dallagiacomo at Meadow Club 72-79-151
1997 Tom Culligan at Poppy Ridge GC 72-74-146
1998 Jerry Chirpich at El Macero CC 76-75-151
1999 Robert Heaton at Contra Costa CC 72-75-147
2000 Jim McMurtrey at Castlewood CC 74-69-143
2001 Earl Stewart at Brookside CC 74-68-142
2002 Gary Bagnani at Blackhawk CC 69-76-145
2003 Tony Reboton at Saddle Creek Resort 74-67-141
2004 David Ellis at San Luis Obispo GCC 77-69-146
2005 Rob Thompson at Ft. Washington GCC 70-74-144
2006 Bob Rowland at Ruby Hill CC 73-67-140
2007 Bill Bowen at Hiddenbrooke GC 71-71-142
2008 Jeff Burda at Saddle Creek GC 66-69-135
2009 Gary Vanier at Spyglass Hill GC 71-75-146
2010 Jeff Burda at Spyglass Hill GC 71-75-146
2011 Jim Knoll at Spyglass Hill GC 75-74-149
2012 Michael Brannan at Spyglass Hill GC 72-70-142
2013 Gary Vanier at Spyglass Hill GC 70-75-145
2014 Jim Knoll at Spyglass Hill GC 71-77-148